The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has appointed a new director to oversee the site selection process in northwestern Ontario.
Joanne Jacyk was announced as the role of director of site selection for Ignace/Northwest in December.
In that role, Jacyk will liaise between the NWMO and Ignace and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, along with nearby communities.
The NWMO said a major focus for Jacyk will be "ensuring potential host communities have all the information they need to decide if they are willing to have a deep geological repository located in their area to safely store and isolate Canada’s used nuclear fuel over the long term.”
“Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel is an important national environmental infrastructure project and there are still some members of the community that have questions. In my new role, I hope to work with the communities to address their questions,” Jacyk said in a NWMO news release.
“I look forward to partnering with my colleague, Joe Heil, the director of Indigenous engagement, to work together to ensure residents in the siting communities have the information and support they need to make an informed decision as we approach the site selection decision in 2024.”
Jacyk is an environmental engineer who’s been with the NWMO for 13 years. She previously served as manager of the organization’s environment program, a role NWMO said has well-prepared her for her new position.
Among her strengths, the organization cited Jacyk’s ability to work with communities to ensure they are directly involved in information-gathering and decision-making.
The NWMO is in the process of selecting a site to host a deep geological repository for the country's spent nuclear fuel.
Following a lengthy site selection process, two areas in Ontario remain in contention: the Wabigoon-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
A decision is expected to be made in 2024.